NCAA & NJCAA XC National Athletes of the Week (Oct. 21)

NEW ORLEANS – Strong racing canvassed the nation this past weekend as athletes began their final tune-ups for the postseason.

Here are those athletes who caught the eye of the USTFCCCA Communications Staff and were named National Athletes of the Week on Tuesday.

Find out more about each of these runners by clicking their names or scrolling below.

Note: We held off on naming National Athletes of the Week from NCAA Division II since there were so few teams racing ahead of Conference Championship Weekend.

National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to 10 collegiate cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and two NJCAA divisions).

Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.

The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.

NCAA DIVISION I MEN – Edwin Kurgat, Iowa State

Senior | Eldoret, Kenya

Make it two for two in big races for Edwin Kurgat.

Nearly a full month after he won the individual title at the John McNichols Invitational against a host of other All-Americans from 2018, Kurgat did so again this past weekend – but at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational.

Kurgat surged from 14th at the 4K split to 1st at the 6K split by more than one second and then put eight more seconds between him and the next closest competitor over the final 2K to win by more than nine seconds. He crossed the finish line in 23:29.4, the second fastest winning time at the meet in the past five years.

This is the first time since the 2016 season that one male athlete has been named NCAA DI National Athlete of the Week twice during the cross country season (Justyn Knight).

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Alicia Monson, Wisconsin

Senior | Amery, Wisconsin

Winning the individual title in the Women’s Championship Race at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational and being named National Athlete of the Week: Name a better duo.

For the fourth year in a row, the winner of that race was named National Athlete of the Week and for the second year in a row, her name is Alicia Monson.

The senior from Amery, Wisconsin, crossed the finish line first in 19:39.3, nine seconds ahead of Weini Kelati of New Mexico, who finished runner-up. Monson also avenged an early season loss to Kelati, who beat her at the Joe Piane Invitational earlier this month.

This is the second year in a row that Monson has been named National Athlete of the Week

NCAA DIVISION III MEN – Nick Matteucci, Washington (Mo.)

Senior | Des Peres, Missouri

Nick Matteucci picked a fine time to post the first cross country victory of his collegiate career.

The senior from Des Peres, Missouri, who just made his season debut a few weeks ago, nabbed the individual title in a loaded field at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational this weekend. With athletes from five teams that were ranked in the national top-5, Matteucci came from 11 seconds back at the 3K split to win the 8K race by more than seven seconds.

This is the second time in program history that a male athlete from WashU has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season. Drew Padgett was the first back on September 22, 2014.

NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Parley Hannan, Ithaca

Senior | Orlean, Virginia

Make it two in a row for Parley Hannan!

The senior from Orlean, Virginia won her second National Athlete of the Week honor in a row thanks to her victory at the Connecticut College Invitational this past weekend. Hannan topped a talented field that featured women from five teams that were ranked in the national top-15. She crossed the finish line in 20:52.2, 15 seconds ahead of the next closest competitor.

This is the first time in the history of the National Athlete of the Week honor in NCAA Division III that a female athlete earned back-to-back honors.

NJCAA DIVISION I MEN – Awet Yohannes, Iowa Central CC

Sophomore | Gothenburg, Sweden

Awet Yohannes won his first race of the year, holding off a pair from host NCAA Division III UW-La Crosse in 24:41.2 for 8K. Last year in track he was national runner-up in the steeplechase after winning the 3000 indoors.

This is the first National Athlete of the Week award for a male runner outside of the state of Kansas this season.

NJCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Winrose Chesang, Iowa Central CC

Sophomore | Kenya

Winrose Chesang is the top runner for the nation’s top-ranked team looking for a three-peat as national champions. She was an easy winner in her first victory of the year at the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational, covering 6k in 21:02.6.

This is her second time as National Athlete of the Week in her career, having also earned the honor last year on Sept. 24.

NJCAA DIVISION III MEN – Edwin Kipainoi, St. Charles CC

Freshman | Kajiado, Kenya

Edwin Kipainoi ran well again and picked up another National Athlete of the Week honor.

The freshman from Kajiado, Kenya, finished 13th at the St. Louis Fall Cross Country Classic this past weekend, covering the 8K tract in 27:56.2, well ahead of the next JUCO finisher.

This is the second time this season that Kipainoi has been named National Athlete of the Week.

NJCAA DIVISION III WOMEN – Katie Dorton, Oxford College

Sophomore | Atlanta, Georgia

Katie Dorton ran away from the field this past weekend at the NJCAA Region XVII Championships.

The sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, won by one minute, 18 seconds and covered the 5K tract in 20:08.9.

This is the second time this season that Dorton has been named National Athlete of the Week.